A disturbing story out of the Sooner State this week, noted by Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway. Under the terms of a recently passed bill, expected to be signed by Governor Mary Fallin, homeowners who install their own private solar or wind turbine energy resources and sell some of the juice back to energy companies will be paying a fee for the privilege.
Utility customers who want to install rooftop solar panels or small wind turbines could face extra charges on their bills after legislation passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives on Monday.
Senate Bill 1456 passed 83-5 after no debate in the House. It passed the Senate last month and now heads to Gov. Mary Fallin for her approval.
The bill was supported by the state’s major electric utilities, but drew opposition from solar advocates, environmentalists and others. It sets up a process at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to establish a separate customer class and monthly surcharge for distributed generation such as rooftop solar or small wind turbines.
As Doug notes, the claimed reasons for the energy companies and their surrogates (who are behind the move) wanting these fees imposed are weak tea at best.
Well, states are trying to switch to mileage taxes as gasoline usage falls, and gas taxes fall with them. It’s always about the money, one way or another.
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